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Monday, November 28, 2011

Hockey Holiday Countdown: Today's Hockey Gift Ideas

Hockey Holiday Gift Ideas

The season of giving is upon us. For hockey players, fans and parents, this is one of the most exciting times of the year. Rinks are buzzing with holiday tournaments and teams are beginning to reach mid-season form. It just feels like hockey season.

Spread the cheer of the season with a special gift for for that special hockey player or fan in your life. At Hockey Giant, we'll help you find the perfect gift to put under the tree or stuff into a stocking. Here are our picks of the day:

  • For the bookworm:
    Check out Playing With Fire, a gripping autobiography by Theo Fleury. Sometimes we forget that the players we idolize are human, just like us.
  • For the fan:
    Help a hockey fanatic support his favorite NHL team with some fresh threads. We have great deals right now on NHL jerseys, shirts, hats and other apparel from Reebok, CCM, and others.
  • For the train-aholic:
    Some players never take a day off. The EZ Puck system is the best new shooting and puckhandling tool on the market. Off-ice training has never been so easy.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Easton Stealth RS Stick Review

Easton Stealth RS Hockey Stick - Review

First things first... the Easton Stealth RS Hockey Stick has received a LOT of hype over the last several months. Every review I've read and every player I've spoken with seems to share the same feelings about Easton's newest creation; they all love it. Of course, this was the cue for the critic in me to begin asking questions. Entertaining my curiosity, Easton was so kind to let me give it a try. Here's my review of the Easton Stealth RS Stick.

Stick specs:

  • 85 Flex (cut down 2")
  • Matte Finish (Non-Grip)
  • P4 Cammalleri (*P4 Zetterberg is now P4 Cammalleri)
  • Left


  • Style Points

    9/10
    This stick is a beauty. Looks, obviously, don't affect performance (unless you make some kind of psychological case for it - "Look good, feel good, play well", or something like that). Nevertheless, the slick matte finish with yellow on black is legit. I was much more impressed with the look of the non-grip design than the grip. It seems like the graphics were created specifically for the non-grip model, and then replicated for the production of the grip model without taking into account how the shiny grip finish would detract from the original design. Anyhow, that's just my personal opinion, take it or leave it.

    Feel

    8/10
    I grew up using wood sticks, which, arguably, provide the best feel for the puck. So when it comes to puck feel, that's the standard I use. Like I said before, I went with the non-grip model because I've found that most grip finishes tend to be more cumbersome than helpful. Personal preference. It took me about 20 minutes to get used to the slick finish of the RS, though. It was almost too slick. But, once I got used to it, puckhandling was the least of my concerns. The blade on the RS is very stiff, which ensures full power on your shot release, but there's a little bit of a trade-off because it's less forgiving when you're receiving passes. I really don't have any complaints about the feel, I just think it has other qualities that are much more appetizing. But, if you're all about feel, check out this review of the Easton Synergy EQ50 Hockey Stick.

    Shooting

    9.5/10
    More than any other aspect of the stick's performance, I was really impressed by the shot power generated by the Stealth RS. I cut the stick down a couple of inches for puckhandling purposes. If I had left it at full length, I'm sure it would have been much easier to take a solid wrister. As a result, I wasn't able to get as much whip out of the shaft, but that's certainly not a knock on the stick. The snap and slap shots were a completely different story. This is where the stiff blade and elliptical taper come into play. I fired the first snap shot from the middle of the blade, with good results. I let the second one go from the toe of the blade - ridiculous. Might as well have been a slapper. That was next, though, and in addition to the fact that the shot went bar down (who doesn't get pumped when they go bar down?), it was a ripper. For anyone who tried an S17 (S19 was an undeniable improvement) and had issues with durability or trouble controlling their slap shot, the RS will quickly erase those memories. The load and release time is noticeably faster than any other tapered shaft I've used recently, with no loss of control. I noticed that bottom-hand placement is pretty important for slap and snap shots with this stick. When you try it for yourself, mess around with it and you'll see what I mean. I ended up placing my bottom hand just a bit lower than I typically do.

    Conclusion

    All in all, I can honestly say that the Easton Stealth RS Stick performed as well as I hoped it would. It's definitely a shooter's stick. No, your shot speed won't magically jump up from 70 to 90 mph if you buy one today. 70 to 80? Possibly... My shot certainly looked and felt faster, but I didn't clock it, so I can't really validate that. In my opinion, playmakers would probably be better off with the Easton Synergy EQ50 Hockey Stick. The EQ50 is made for players who want more feel and control on their shots and passes, as opposed to the lightning quick release and power of the RS. Either way you go, you'll be sure to have great results. One thing is for certain: Easton is continuing to lead the charge, making advancements in hockey stick technology, just like they always have.


    Get your Easton Stealth RS Hockey Stick at HockeyGiant.com today